There’s really no stopping anyone that’s determined on a clear mission. Gideon Kidd, a typical 9-year-old boy, is on a mission to photograph one million canines as soon as possible, and many people have been joining him on his journey, as they share his passion for man’s best friend. Gideon’s passion for these furry creatures is not only infectious; it’s also quite outwardly. He’s the mastermind behind one popular Twitter account–I’ve Pet That Dog which currently has 98,000 followers and growing. He also has a website showing all the dogs that he’s come in contact with, a sum of 380 four-legged friends thus far.
It all started with Gideon’s love for dogs, obviously. He actually love the animals so much; he wanted to let all the world know just how amazing these creatures are. He’s so fascinated with them and everything about them; he became consumed by this desire to share his passion and knowledge about dogs. Then it all became very simple for him. He would go out every day to try and find a dog that he hasn’t petted yet. He would ask the owners if he could pet their dogs, and that was really it. Majority of those people that he’s asked have given him permission to photograph their pets and post up a story online. Only a few have rejected his requests.
I pet Tank. He is a 1 year old Labradoodle who loves his brother, Gus. Tank won’t jump over things. He just plows through the gates in the house. His caregiver hoped to make him a therapy dog, but he is too attached to his brother to be anything but a family dog. pic.twitter.com/8VkoN7HpQY
— I've Pet That Dog (@IvePetThatDog) July 1, 2018
With tremendous help from his mom, Rachel Braunigan, the young man started his project back in September 2016. His mom is basically the driver taking him around to look for new subjects. She’s also usually the photographer that captures all the photos, and she’s also the notetaker writing down all the information. His mom, of course, is responsible for keeping up with other logistics such as accounts, websites, and the like, typing in tories and posting up the pictures as well. It’s a lot of work, but it’s something they both have enjoyed doing so far. Even before the idea for the website came about, Gideon has always asked people if he could pet their dogs. So it was no surprise when Gideon asked his mom if they could do one website; she had absolutely no hesitations whatsoever. Little did either of them knew then just how much their idea would catch on just a couple of years later.
Things started going viral after this duo launched their account on Twitter. Each of their posts started getting tons of retweets and thousands of likes. Because of his passion, Gideon has appeared in People magazine. Iowa Public Radio has also interviewed him. Most recently, famous playwright and actor of “Hamilton” Lin-Manuel Miranda liked one of his photos and actually followed his account. To Gideon’s excitement, Miranda must be a lover of dogs as well.
I pet Copper. He is a 12 year old German Shorthaired, Wirehaired Pointer mix. When Copper was younger, he would jump the 6 ft fence in his backyard. Now he has Addison’s Disease and needs special food, meds, and shots. It is expensive, but his caregiver says Copper is worth it. pic.twitter.com/4hMZ58YBQA
— I've Pet That Dog (@IvePetThatDog) June 30, 2018
According to Braunigan, this is something they’re not accustomed to at all. It’s still an adjustment, but these two are having a lot of fun creating posts and watching it all take on a life of its own. Because of what they started, Gideon has been exposed to a lot of opportunities outside of their circle. He’s been invited to meet canines from all sorts of places, one of which is Drake University’s mascot, Griff the Bulldog. The young man was delighted because he absolutely loves Bulldogs just as much as he loves Chihuahuas and Saint Bernards and all sorts of other breeds.
When he’s not petting other people’s dogs, Gideon is at home petting his own husky-beagle mix, Walter. As much as he is into dogs, he also happens to be into other things as well. He loves to play music—piano, drums, bells, and snare. He also loves to hang out with his friends, and he’s also passionate about another set of animals: gerbils.
There’s no telling where this young man is going to take this passion. If he can create something of so much value at such a young age, it’s exciting to think about where he’d be once he hits his one million mark. It might take him a few years to do, but it seems like more and more canine owners are reaching out to him instead of him having to look for ones to pet. That’ll certainly eliminate time and resources he’d typically spend. Pretty soon, he can just focus on all the best parts—actually petting dogs he gets to encounter.